Karen Tumlin, the legal director of the National Immigration Law Center, said her group has been a frenzy of activity since the election doing legal research, bringing on new staffers, and preparing memos as they tried anticipated waiting to see how Trump would govern.
In addition to the crackdown on sanctuary cities and undocumented immigrants in general, the group is worried about new restrictions on refugees. “Folks are prepared to bring their best thinking and swift action to anything that violates the law,” said Tumlin.
A whole ecosystem of lawyers and advocates sprung up during the Bush administration, and they are now way ahead of where they were in early years of the War on Terror.
“In 2001, it was basically just Michael Ratner running around waving a writ of habeas corpus. We couldn’t find even find local legal counsel in some cases,” said Baher Azmy, the legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, referring to the group’s late president, who died last year. “Now, as a result of the Bush Administration, there’s a whole well-resourced consortium of organizations geared up and ready to fight.”